Closely following the *redbalifrog* Birds of a Feather release, today heralds the debut of the new *redbalifrog* men’s line, titled Ancient Mystics. Designed by Amanda’s son, Nick Bazarow who is a popular urban street artist, this collection features his fascination with the mysteries of life taken from cultures past and present. While originally announced to be more male-focused, the simple elegance and clean lines of this collection is sure to appeal to members of both sexes. Included in this release is a mix of pendants and charms: Unidentified, Bermuda, Rapa Nui, Rapa Nui pendant, All Seeing Eye, All Seeing Eye pendant, Unlock Voodoo pendant, and Volcanic Fossil.
I was able to have a quick chat with Nick, and when asked if it was difficult to change from painting to jewelry sculpting, he answered, “I’ve always loved drawing and creating… putting thoughts and ideas into something visual. The transition from 2D to 3D wasn’t too far from the original source and ideas that I have always run with. When creating beads a similar creative process is taken alongside logo and symbol designs, with a few more point of views of course.”
The most impressive and outstanding piece from this collection is undisputedly the Unlock Voodoo pendant. The sheer size and enormity of this design makes it a statement piece. Adding the flourishing embellishments to this pendant and it’s definitely eye-catchingly amazing. “The Skeleton Key… The term refers to the skeletal structure which can bypass all locks. Using this pendant may allow you to unlock things you have never had success before with…”
All Seeing Eye charm and pendant, feature the omnipotent symbol of the divine watching over us. Prominently featured on the US one-dollar bill, the Eye of Providence was a sign that God favors the prosperity of the United States at a time when the country was brand new. “Imagery of an All Seeing Eye can be traced back to Egyptian Mythology and the Eye of Horus. Buddhist texts like the Mahaparinibbana Sutta also refer to Buddha as the ‘Eye of the World’. Today, the ‘Eye of Providence’ is usually associated with Freemasonry. The Eye first appeared as part of the standard iconography of the Freemasons in 1797.” The pendant is approximately twice the size as the charm.
The Rapa Nui charm and pendant depicts another famous enigma from history. Much like Stonehenge, some conspiracy theorists believe that these large headed statues were left by aliens who visited a long time ago. However, historians explain them as, “the Polynesian colonisers of Easter Island where the Moai heads are found. They were carved mostly between circa 1250 and 1500. In addition to representing the deceased, the Moai, once they were erected on Ahu, may also have been regarded as the embodiment of powerful living or former chiefs and important lineage status symbols...”
Bermuda, of course, refers to the notorious Bermuda Triangle; the area of water between Florida, the Bermuda island, and Puerto Rico where it’s said that planes and vessels are prone to disappear. On all accounts, this is a fantastical urban legend and there is actually no such sinister phenomenon. A clever bead, the word “Bermuda” is written on the side of a triangle, as a play on the design. “The Bermuda Triangle, is an undefined region in the western part of the North Atlantic Ocean where a number of aircraft and ships are said to have disappeared under mysterious circumstances. Popular culture has attributed various disappearances to the paranormal or activity by extraterrestrial beings.”
Unidentified features the infamous UFO space crafts seen by witnesses from the 1940s to today. This is incredibly timed just as the information on Area 51 has been declassified by the US government over the summer. Nothing as nefarious as alien dissections were admitted, but rather a military space for testing secret reconnaissance aircrafts which is probably how this base got its reputation. “An unidentified flying object, or UFO, in its most general definition. These anomalies were referred to popularly as Flying Saucers during the late 1940′s and early 1950′s.”
Lastly, an organic addition to this set is the Volcanic Fossil. Is a rock formed from magma erupted from a Volcano. Volcanic rocks often have a vesicular texture caused by voids left by volatiles escaping from the molten Lava. These rocks are sourced from Bali where there are many Volcano’s.“ I’ve enjoyed the *redbalifrog* set of natural beads and this will be a great one to add to my collection!
As to what’s next for Nick and *redbalifrog*, he replied, “More collections!!! Definitely keeping them themed and based on something amazing or cultural I think. May touch on different civilisations and movements through the ages [with the goal to] try and cover our planet…and back again. Keep an eye out for random one off pieces from time to time that don’t necessarily fit into a launch, but still deserve a place within our collections. I will be doing small features and one off designs in some of Mum’s collections moving forward. [And] down the track possibly some joint colaboration work and pieces for sure. Maybe even a few more solo’s…” Exciting times, indeed!
For those new to *redbalifrog* these charms are compatible with other bracelet styles, including Pandora. For ordering details, the charms and pendants can be found on Perlen or through the official US distributor, RedbalifrogUSA. What do you think of Nick’s first foray into jewelry design? Do you have a favorite from this collection?